(a) The West Virginia board of accountancy is hereby continued.
(b) (1) Commencing with the board terms beginning July 1, 2001, the board shall consist of seven members appointed for terms of three years by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Five members must be certified public accountants; one member must be a public accountant so long as twenty-five or more public accountants are registered by the board, but if there are fewer than twenty-five public accountants registered by the board, then the member may be either a public accountant or a certified public accountant; and one member must be a citizen member who is a resident of this state, who is not licensed under the provisions of this article and who also is not a bookkeeper, enrolled agent or a person who provides or offers to provide to the public any bookkeeping, tax preparation, financial advisory or insurance service: Provided, That the members of the board in office on July 1, 2001, shall continue to serve until their respective terms expire.
(2) Each licensed member of the board, at the time of his or her appointment, must have held a license in this state for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding the appointment and each member must be a resident of this state during the appointment term.
(3) Each appointment of a public accountant, whether for a full term or to fill a vacancy, must be made by the Governor from among three nominees selected by the West Virginia Public Accountants Association and each appointment of a certified public accountant, whether for a full term or to fill a vacancy, must be made by the Governor from among three nominees selected by the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants: Provided, That when the appointment of a certified public accountant is to fill the seat held on July 1, 2001, by a public accountant, then the appointment, whether for a full term or to fill a vacancy, must be made by the Governor from among three nominees selected by the West Virginia Public Accountants Association. When the appointment is for a full term, the nominations must be submitted to the Governor not later than eight months prior to the date on which the appointment will become effective. When the appointment is to fill a vacancy, the nominations must be submitted to the Governor within ten days after a request for the nominations has been made by the Governor to the president of the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants or president of the West Virginia Public Accountants Association. If the society or the association fails to submit to the Governor nominations for an appointment in accordance with the requirements of this section, the Governor may make the appointment without the nominations.
(c) No member may serve more than two consecutive full terms, and any member having served two full terms may not be appointed for one year after completion of his or her second full term. A member shall continue to serve until his or her successor has been appointed and qualified.
(d) If a board member is unable to complete a term, the Governor shall appoint a person of similar qualifications to complete the unexpired term: Provided, That if the board member is a certified public accountant or public accountant, the Governor shall appoint a person from any nominees submitted pursuant to subdivision (3), subsection (b) of this section. Each vacancy occurring on the board must be filled by appointment within sixty days after the vacancy is created.
(e) The Governor may remove any member from the board for neglect of duty, incompetency or official misconduct.
(f) Any member of the board shall immediately and automatically forfeit his or her membership if he or she has his or her certificate or registration suspended or revoked by the board, is convicted of a felony under the laws of any state or the United States, or becomes a nonresident of this state.
(g) Each member of the board shall receive compensation and expense reimbursement in accordance with section eleven, article one of this chapter.
(h) Board members are exempt from civil liability for any decision made or any act done in good faith in the performance of any duty or the exercise of any power granted under this article.